Front Row Center Newsletter from the Greater Columbus Arts Counsil
Crowdfunding: The Power of Many Small Gifts
By Jennifer Sadler

Crowdfunding has become a new alternative for entrepreneurs, small organizations, businesses and artists who are seeking funding. In its simplest form, crowdfunding is a means of rallying fans and supporters to raise money for creative projects, new ventures and more.

There are two main types of crowdfunding. The first model, donation-based funding, enables individuals to donate via a collaborative goal based process in return for products, perks or rewards.  The second and more recent model is investment crowdfunding, where businesses seeking capital sell ownership stakes in the form of equity or debt. In this model, funders become owners or shareholders and have a potential for financial return, unlike in the donation model.

Online crowdfunding started about five years ago and is growing across the globe with new platforms catering to different needs and interests.  Current philanthropic trends indicate remarkable growth in online donations and a strong desire for transparency; donors want to see where their gifts go.  According to two new studies by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, online donations to nonprofits of all sizes grew by 14 percent last year, compared to the 1.5 percent rise in giving across all platforms.

Crowdfunding websites such as IndieGoGo and KickStarter connect potential investors with project creators and developers, taking novel ideas and putting them into production. The advantage of the new online crowdfunding websites is that they provide a cost-effective way for independent artists and small organizations to reach many more people.  Many fans, friends and acquaintances may be able to give only small amounts, but with the ability to attract a big enough crowd to donate, funding goals have a better chance of being reached.

Crowdfunding websites offer a simple way to create attractive online fundraising pages that can be publicized through email lists, Facebook pages, blogs or any other social networks. Using available crowdfunding services, project creators essentially build web pages that host information, photos and promotional videos on products, projects or services they’re looking to get funded.  Crowdfunding campaigns have a time limit on these sites; typically giving periods are between 30 and 90 days.  The sizes and types of these projects are across the board; genres range from film, theatre, music, publishing to small business creation and just about any creative idea imaginable in between. Because of this innovative social market and the ease of donation, many creative projects are becoming reality.

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Riffe Gallery Presents Poetics of Pattern Through October 6 Artist Profile
Andrea Myers Headshot sculptor
Andrea Myers

As the most comprehensive online events guide and resource for arts and culture in central Ohio, offers a virtual guide through the Columbus art world with a searchable database of events, concerts, performances and more. is an engaging place for artists and arts organizations to share what they do, with thousands of users per month. The Artist Directory allows visual, performing and literary artists to create a profile and portfolio to showcase their work—for free—and enables art enthusiasts to easily search for and connect with them. Our monthly artist profile series features interviews with some of the many talented individuals who make up central Ohio’s thriving creative community. 

For this issue, we spoke with local artist, Andrea Myers.  Myers is well-known here at GCAC.  She participated in the Columbus Arts Pop-Up Project (CAP-UP), a series of installation window displays by area artists presented in partnership with the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District (SID); was a recipient of a 2012 Visual Arts Fellowship from GCAC, and in 2014, Myers will be traveling to Dresden, Germany for a residency as part of GCAC’s International Artist Exchange program.


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Sneak Peek

Ohio Art League Presents One Night: Elements

One Night: Elements is the Ohio Art League’s premier event of the year. It provides an opportunity to interact with artists, patrons and supporters of Ohio’s diverse cultural community and a bold collection of original, affordable artwork in a silent and live auction. Artwork ranges from paintings, photography, drawings and sculpture to jewelry and fashion. There are typically more than 200 works submitted by OAL members that have been curated down to a key selection from each artist.

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Wexner Center Presents: Nature Theatre of Oklahoma: Life and Times—Episode 1

Let the epic journey begin. Life and Times—Episode 1 is the first installment in an ongoing multipart cycle planned by vanguard theater Nature Theater of Oklahoma. The idea sprang from the directive “tell me your life story,” posed to company member Kristin Worrall by artistic directors Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska.

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New Albany Symphony Orchestra Presents Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The New Albany Symphony Orchestra will open its 2013-2014 season with one of Beethoven’s most beloved and inspirational works – the Ninth Symphony, “Ode to Joy.”
The 75-minute tour-de-force will feature the Capital University Chapel Choir, in addition to soloists Chelsea Hart, soprano; Carolyn Redman, mezzo-soprano; Mark Baker, baritone; and Samuel Hall, bass

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GCAC appreciates and acknowledges support from: City of Columbus, Franklin County and the Ohio Arts Council.

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Front Row Center provides an in-depth look into the creative individuals and organizations that make the Central Ohio arts and cultural community unique. Front Row Center features articles about local and national arts issues, profiles of creative professionals, previews of upcoming events and the inside scoop on what’s happening in the arts in Columbus. For complete submission guidelines please visit our Publications Page.